Minimizing the Financial Impact of a DUI Conviction (Vancouver, Washington)
Probation for a DUI conviction is expensive. However, with the help of an experienced attorney, you can minimize the financial impact. These practical, proactive steps can help you avoid costs, and show the judge and prosecution that you are taking initiative with your case.
IntroductionProbation is expensive, especially for a DUI. It is not only the court ordered fines and fees - often several thousand dollars - but there also can be supervision fees imposed. Many people simply cannot pay these costs. Therefore, they are forced to choose between providing for themselves and their families or letting their probation debt go to collections, where it multiples with high interest rates. This is a false dichotomy presented by the system.
There are no magic solutions to this systematic problem. However, you and your attorney can proactively minimize the financial costs. If you are convicted of a DUI, there are unique conditions that must be completed as part of your sentence. If you have conditions that require active supervision by probation (treatment, victim's panel, etc.), which you will with a DUI, you will have to pay an additional $100 per month of supervision to corrections.
Treatment1. Sign up for Alcohol or Drug Treatment OR the Alcohol and Drug Information School (ADIS).
ADIS: an 8 hour class that costs significantly less, in both time and money, than a longer treatment plan.
It may satisfy the requirement for receiving treatment if it is deemed that you do not have a drug and alcohol issue that requires further treatment. ADIS is a good option for those who have little to no DUI history and limited drug and alcohol dependency issues.
It is offered by several treatment providers in the area, including:
a. Community Services Northwest (http://csnw.org/);
b. Lifeline Connections (https://www.lifelineconnections.org/)
Treatment: If you have alcohol or drug dependency history and/or past DUIs, additional treatment, beyond the ADIS, may be required.
This can still allow you to try to get this condition out of the way before sentencing so that additional supervision fees are not imposed.
Victim's Panel2. Sign up for the Clark County Victim Panel.
Victim Panel: A two-hour discussion of the negative consequences of DUI in the community that you will be ordered by the court to attend.
The cost of the program is $75. Paying fee upfront avoids you having to pay $100 after sentencing, per month, until you complete the class.
You can sign up the following link, or in your county of residence:
Submit Documentation3. Provide your attorney with copies any certificates of completion you receive for ADIS/Treatment and the Victim's Panel.
This easy step is one that people often forget. Make sure to provide your attorney with documents proving that you completed your conditions. Your attorney can use your proactive steps to show the prosecutor and judge that you are taking initiative to address your case.
SummaryIf you complete these steps before sentencing, you may avoid the $100 per month supervision fee. That is because, once these are completed, assuming you are in compliance with other condition of sentence - not driving without a valid license, installing an ignition interlock device, and paying restitution to the victim, if ordered - you have no conditions that require additional supervision. You are still on probation, unfortunately, but it avoids further financial impact.
These steps not only can potentially save you hundreds of dollars, but they also have show you are proactive about your case and taking it seriously. Prosecutors and judges like to see that. As a result, following through on these steps can possibly save you money, jail time, and be used a negotiating tool to help you achieve the best outcome possible for your case.